Apr 22, 2019
A nonprofit organization that advocates for restaurant workers to receive equitable pay and treatment was borne in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center. On that horrific day, 73 workers from the Center’s iconic restaurant, Windows on the World, were killed and their co-workers displaced. Sekou Siby, a Windows on the World cook from the Ivory Coast, organized those survivors to ensure their well-being and to find new opportunities in the industry. Their efforts started with a worker’s center in New York and has since expanded into Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, a game changing national nonprofit with chapters across the United States. Their members, workers in the industry, decide which issues they address and shape the policies solutions that they advocate. In Washington DC, organizers Sophia Miyoshi and Candance Cunningham tackle wage theft and sexual harassment while promoting fair wages and paid family leave for tipped workers and racial equity in the industry overall. Their research supports a growing understanding that tipped wages are an “antiquated system.” They work with owners and consumers and advocate for city council and federal level solutions. Sophie and Candance are coalition builders and they want you to be informed consumers about the restaurants you support. Listen to their episode to hear how they make that possible.